Persimmon Tree

Sakai Hōitsu Japanese

Not on view

This painting, while exhibiting the trademark mottled-ink (tarashikomi) technique of the Rinpa school, reflects the artist’s interest in Western-style realism, which is combined with sophisticated, graceful forms. The intricately curling leaves of the tree and grass evoke the cold sky of the clear fall day alluded to in the inscription, which dates the screen to late autumn 1816.

Hōitsu was born into a wealthy, influential samurai family and had all the advantages of the finest education, including the opportunity to study many of the painting styles available to artists in Edo Japan. He became a monk in 1797 and adopted the priestly name Monsen Kishin, which appears in the seal and signature on this screen.

Persimmon Tree, Sakai Hōitsu (Japanese, 1761–1828), Two-panel folding screen; ink and color on paper, Japan

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